Five Fascinating Facts about Samuel Richardson

Interesting Literature

Interesting facts about a pioneering novelist

1. His first book was a guide for apprentices.The Apprentice’s Vade Mecum appeared in 1733 and offered advice for young apprentices of all trades, especially when it came to things like drinking and ‘wenching’. (Well, we all need a little guidance over such things…)

2. Samuel Richardson’s first novel, Pamela, began life as a conduct-book designed to teach young women how to write better letters. However, what began as a series of loosely related letters quickly began to coalesce into a clear narrative, and Pamela (subtitled Virtue Rewarded) was born. This 1740 novel tells the story of the titular character, a teenage servant-girl whose rakish master tries to seduce her. However, Pamela refuses to give herself to her boss unless he marries her first, which he does indeed end up doing – her ‘virtue’ is ‘rewarded’.

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